What to Wear Skiing

What to Wear Skiing
Your ability to enjoy your ski vacation is based on your ability to stay comfortable. Your comfort will be enhanced by what you wear and impeded by clothes that should never, under any circumstances, be worn on a ski slope. This means avoiding jeans, or any type of clothing made of cotton. Most ski clothing fabrics are breathable and either waterproof or water-resistant. Cotton is not one of these fabrics. Additionally, to stay warm, you will want to adhere to the layering system of ski dressing.

Wicking Layer

Long underwear is the most important layer of ski clothing. It should be made of a synthetic fabric that is designed to wick moisture from your body. Thermal long underwear should consist of a long-sleeved shirt, as well as long underpants. However, because the pants should not be tucked into your ski boots, choosing three-quarter-length or capri pants is acceptable. Some advanced skiers use a compression type of performance underwear, which adds support to the muscles actively used in skiing, but it is quite expensive. Regular thermal underwear will suffice for most skiers.

Insulation Layer

The insulation layer consists of a fleece turtleneck. Most people also use a pullover for extra warmth. Because well-designed ski pants usually have an insulating lining, it is not necessary to add an extra insulating layer around the legs.

Outer Layer

The outer layer of ski clothing should consist of a waterproof, breathable ski jacket as well as a pair of ski pants.

Socks and Gloves

Be sure to wear lined, ski-specific gloves. Although mittens are warmer, they limit hand dexterity, which can make it difficult to use your poles. If you tend toward having cold hands, choose ski gloves that have a pocket for hand warmers. Choose ski socks, as opposed to heavy wool socks. If your socks are too heavy, your feet will sweat and become cold.

Helmet and Goggles

Helmets and goggles are crucial to warmth and safety. If you tend to get really cold, you can purchase a helmet liner to keep your head warm.


Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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